Thursday, June 30, 2011

cheesy pull apart herb bread

this was tonight's tasty creation, made from whatever i had on hand, to be breakfast tomorrow. i'm kind of amazed i had all of this since tomorrow's payday and i haven't grocery shopped in two weeks. this is put together much like a cinnamon pull-apart bread i made a while back that was AMAZING. you roll out the dough, spread on the filling of your choice (much like making sticky buns) and then cut it into squares, stack them up, place vertically in a loaf pan and when it's done you'll have pre-sliced bread already spread with tasty stuff! you do have to have some kind of fat in the filling to keep the pieces separated but that's pretty easy to do. you can see here i'm mostly relying on the whole-fat cheese. i added the mayo mainly to make it more spreadable. i possibly could have used milk to keep the fat content down but i didn't think of it. this is a treat snack, not a healthy one. you could use whatever cheeses and herbs you have on hand. would work nicely with some minced olives, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes or spinach in the filling. you can also go the sweet direction and use fruit and brown sugar and butter (remove the garlic powder or i'll laugh at you a lot for not having enough sense to be allowed in a kitchen)

3/4 cup sourdough starter (or more warm water, i was just trying to use up the starter instead of throwing half out when i fed it)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 Tbs instant yeast (could have upped to 3/4 Tbs)
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs oil or butter
2 cups flour

1 cup shredded cheese (i used half low-fat cheddar, half coriander gouda but whatever)
3 Tbs half-fat mayo
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (i used rosemary, thyme, dill, sage, oregano, and basil since that's what's available in the garden right now)
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/3 cup cream cheese (i used mostly light plain and a bit of tomato-basil that was left over)
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes

mix the starter, water, yeast, and sugar. let sit for a few min to get all bubbly
add the salt, garlic, and oil, stir briefly, then mix in flour. i suggest starting with 1 1/2 cups and adding more as needed to make a soft dough that's not too sticky. warning: making it too dry when you used sourdough starter makes it take AGES to rise
while it's rising mix all ingredients for filling and adjust to taste, you may need to warm for 30 seconds in the microwave.
let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, then stretch/roll out on a floured counter to about 1/8-1/4" thick. mine ended up being about 18" square, give or take.
spread the filling evenly on the dough, then cut into little 2-3" squares. they don't have to be perfect.
grease your loaf pan, then create little stacks of squares. i usually do about 4. hold the pan at an angle so you can put in the stacks without them falling over too much
let rise in a warm place again until doubled in size, then bake at 350 for about 25-30 min or until golden brown.
mine actually took overnight to rise but i think that's because the yeast i added was fighting with the yeast in my sourdough starter and both were inhibited by the fat in the filling. next time i may skip the starter or skip the yeast and plan better but this was still herby cheesy flavorful goodness!

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